Hamid Ansari has denied meeting or inviting the Pakistani journalist

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs Thursday steered clear of the controversy involving former vice president Hamid Ansari over claims of a Pakistani journalist, saying it does not want to comment on the issue.

Clips of Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza’s interview in Pakistan have been doing the rounds on social media for the last few days in which he stated that he attended a seminar on terrorism in India in which Ansari spoke. Mirza also claimed to have given secret and classified information to the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Asked about the media report on Mirza’s remarks and Ansari’s statement on the allegations, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “I have seen some media reports but I cannot comment on it. I don’t have the details about the media report and it is uncorroborated. I would not like to comment on both the points.”

The BJP has accused Ansari of inviting to India the Pakistani journalist, who has claimed to have spied for the ISI, but the former vice president dismissed the charge as a “litany of falsehood” and said he never met or invited him.

In his statement, Ansari said, “I had inaugurated the Conference on Terrorism, on December 11, 2010, the ‘International Conference of Jurists on International Terrorism and Human Rights’. As is the normal practice, the list of invitees would have been drawn by the organisers. I never invited him or met him.”

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